Pre Mauryan, Mauryan, and Post Mauryan Age – UPSC Civil Service Exam – Past Year Solved Questions

In this post, we have provided the Civil Service Exam previous year questions with their solution. the questions are taken from the chapter Pre-Mauryan, Mauryan, and Post-Mauryan Age.

Question Number 1

Who among the following rulers advised his subjects through this inscription?
“Whosoever praises his religious sect or blames other sects out of excessive devotion to his own sect, with the view of glorifying his own sect, he rather injures his own sect very severely.”



  • Ashoka
  • Samudragupta
  • Harshavardhana
  • Krishnadeva Raya

Answer – Ashoka

Explanation – Ashoka through his 12th rock edict advises his subjects “Whosoever praises his religious sect or blames other sects out of excessive devotion to his own sect, with the view of glorifying his own sect, he rather injures his own sect very severely. ” Through this inscription, Ashoka expresses his desire that all his subjects should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other religions.

Question Number 2

In which of the following relief sculpture inscriptions is ‘Ranyo Ashoka’ (King Ashoka) mentioned along with the stone portrait of Ashoka?



  • Kanganahalli
  • Sanchi
  • Shahbazgarhi
  • Sohgaura

Answer – Kanganahalli

Explanation – Kanganahalli is an important Buddhist site. It is about 3 km from Sannati; Kamataka. The first inscribed portrait of Ashoka (surrounded by female attendants and queens) was found at Kanganahalli. Ranyo Ashoka (King Ashoka) is mentioned along with the stone portrait of Ashoka in Kanganahalli relief sculpture inscriptions.
The Sanchi inscription belongs to Chandragupta II, documenting a donation given to the Buddhist establishment at Sanchi during the reign of Chandragupta II.
Shahbazgarhi is famous for Ashokan edicts incised on a large boulder. Its main purpose was to establish ‘Dhamma’ (Justice).
Sohgaura copper plate inscription mentions the establishment of two-grain depots to fight against famine.

Question Number 3

Who of the following had first deciphered the edicts of Emperor Asoka?



  • Georg Buhler
  • James Princep
  • Max Muller
  • William Jones

Answer – James Princep

Explanation – James Princep who held a high rank in the service of the British East India Company in Bengal, was the first to decipher Brahmi script in the edicts of Asoka in 1838. Princep found that on most of the earliest inscriptions and coins, there is a mention of a king referred to as ‘Piyadasa’ meaning ‘pleasant to behold’. In some inscriptions, the king is named Asoka.
The deciphering of the Brahmi script by Princep provided a new direction for investigations into early Indian political history.

Question Number 4

With reference to the guilds (Shreni) of ancient India that played a very important role in the country’s economy, which of the following statements is /are correct?
1. Every guild was registered with the central authority of the state and the king was the chief administrative authority on them.
2. The wages, rules of work, standards, and prices were fixed by the guild.
3. The guild had judicial powers over its own members.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below



  • 1 and 2
  • Only 3
  • 2 and 3
  • 1, 2 and 3

Answer – 2 and 3

Explanation – Kautilya mentioned in Arthashastra the methods devised for the regulation of the guilds. It Includes registration of the guilds, laying down the checks and balances on the activities of the artisans, wages, rules Of work, and appointment of a special tribunal to administer the laws. But the king was not the chief administrative authority of the guild, rather a guild master was selected. There is some evidence that the Shreni’s were registered with the local officials (not the king). The post was sometimes hereditary.

Question Number 5

Between which of the following was the ancient town of Takshasila located?



  • Indus and Jhelum
  • Jhelum and Chenab
  • Chenab and Ravi
  • Ravi and Beas

Answer – Indus and Jhelum

Explanation – Ancient town of Taxila is located between the Indus and Jhelum. Ancient Taxila literally meaning ‘city of cut stone or “Rank of Taksha” was situated at the pivotal function of India, Western Asia, and Central Asia.

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